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Stop the Madness: Quit Applying for the Wrong Job

Time and time again, I see so many people apply for jobs for which they are clearly not qualified.   Frustration is the only thing that gets set in motion when someone applies for the wrong job. 

So why do people do it?  To spend precious time applying for these positions, one must create a rationale for doing so.  Most often, that rationale is that they are applying for the job they want (or think they want).  The problem with that rationale is that regardless of how much someone wants that job, if they are not qualified the result is still the same—they will not get the job.  This snowballs into frustration on the part of the applicant because they will hear no response and ultimately feel rejected.  It is natural human behavior—want to be chosen, don’t get chosen, feel rejected.  It is just not worth it to bring this upon oneself.

If the job wanted is outside of your current qualifications then the best thing to do is create a plan for successfully getting to where you want to be and stop the madness of applying for jobs out of reach.  Here are some suggestions:

Stop before you apply- Take a very objective look at whether or not you are truly qualified for the job before putting in the time to apply. Remember, no matter how much you want it, if you do not meet the requirements you are not going to meet the hiring manager.

Assess the situation- If you are not interested in the jobs you are qualified for then conduct a gap analysis of where you are now, where you want to be and how to get there.  For instance, if the job requires that you have a bachelor’s degree and you do not have one, then the next course of action should be to think about going back to school.

Set your plan in motion- By this point you realize that applying for jobs for which you do not meet the requirements is not the road to success. But that does not mean that all roads are blocked; you just have to pick the right one.  If you are looking for a new job, apply for the roles you are qualified for while continuing to set your sights on the role you eventually want. It will take some work to get there but if that is what you really want long term, the hard work will pay off.

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9 Responses to “Stop the Madness: Quit Applying for the Wrong Job”

  1. Marcia says:

    I can give you several reasons why people apply for jobs they are not “perceived” to be qualified for.
    1.) The state unemployment board requires a minimum of “x” number of job contacts per week to qualify for benefits. You have looked long and hard all week but only have “x-2″ contacts. So you send out 2 resumes you know you don’t stand a chance of being called for. But you got your “x” contacts for the week, and the unemployment check will be in your checking account.
    2.) You want to get out of the chicken plucking business you are so qualified for because if you pluck another chicken you will scream. You feel you would thrive in the tulip bulb business. But you have no tulip bulb experience, except that you have read every white paper written on tulip bulbs and could tell Holland a thing or two. It’s not on your resume under formal education or work experience, but you are screaming for a chance to change careers and are praying for a chance. Please, just one chance.
    3.) The work methodologies of the experience and the job opening are quite similar, requiring linear skills and personality traits. Both may require sales techniques, or thoroughness, or any number of transferrable skills. You are exploring for any job (to pay the bills) but it just might be workable if you try it, and it may not require a specialty degree to qualify. You just might be darn good at it.

    So maybe you HR types need to cut us unemployed folk some slack and quit trying to put square pegs in square holes: If you’re all out of square pegs, a smaller round one might just fit the square hole.

  2. BUCKNOR E says:

    I so much appreciate your write ups about job search and the advice you profer for people to adhere to which they dont seem to understand not because they do not understand but because they want to be employed.
    Yes,what about those who apply for jobs they know they are qualified but are never called up for an interview to assess them and know truely if the merit such iobs. All things work out well in the USA,EUROPE and probably some part of ASIA like JAPAN, but the reverseis the case in AFRICA especially in NIGERIA where even with PennyEnergy associates will employ people on who brings them onboard,not minding whether they are qualified or not. The Nigerian system of employment,either government or companies are the same,because they employ on man know man,not minding qualification and that is why those who are not qualified still send their application to the jobs they know they can not get but will get it with their god fatherism.
    I am so greatful with the system that operates in the advance world especially the United States of America where everything is done accordingly not minding colour,tribe but strictly on merit and qualification.I hope and believe that some of these companies that operate in Nigeria (the oil companies like SHELL,CHEVRON etc have their origin from USA,they should try and imbibe what is obtainable in the USA and educate the Nigerian people on how things are done with due process,accountability,transperency and the fear of the Almighty God.
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to express myself.
    Bucknor E

  3. zeeshan says:

    searching a good helper

  4. kayf says:

    In reference to your blog re: inappropriate job application.

    Here is one more example. You were born and reared in a city called the “armpit of the nation” Each member of your family moved away, one by one. You took any scut job available to earn a few pennies. When you had completed the most awful tasks, finally had amassed $19.95, the amount of a bus pass out of the dungeon, you went as far as your meager savings could take you.

    Each time a recruiter sees on your application that you lived in the “_ _ LL” city , the first thing they want to do is send you back.

    You explain, “I have retrained into the field of X”. “I have new skills and abilities”. They say…but I get a bigger commission if I make you go away. OR they have no one else to send

  5. Alan says:

    This Penn Energy email was very informative. I am very interested and passionate about Green Industry developing in our society. I live in a location where solar power and wind power are very possible due to the elements outdoors. I know that homeowners as well as business owners are looking for a positive change. I have been a salesman and a customer service man for more than 15 years. I used to do well in the mortgage industry until it collapsed. I have not been able to find a green company hopefully in my area or coming to my area that will train me on their companies products and services so I can go out and do what I do best and fulfill my passion. I have been looking for more than (2) two years. I am willing to start entry level and it does not necessarily have to be sales or customer service.

  6. Alan says:

    This Penn Energy email was very informative. I am very interested and passionate about Green Industry developing in our society. I live in a location where solar power and wind power are very possible due to the elements outdoors. I know that homeowners as well as business owners are looking for a positive change. I have been a salesman and a customer service man for more than 15 years. I used to do well in the mortgage industry until it collapsed. I have not been able to find a green company hopefully in my area or coming to my area that will train me on their companies products and services so I can go out and do what I do best and fulfill my passion. I have been looking for more than (2) two years. I am willing to start entry level and it does not necessarily have to be sales or customer service.
    Would you have any suggestions or perhaps you can lead me to someone who may be able to help me or can you help me?? Thank You Alan Solomon

  7. Greg S. says:

    There are many of us older jobseekers who have many sets of skills to offer an employer. Many times the job duties and requirements a kind of generic and my previous work experience could be applied to that situation. I’ve learned that most of the time the HR folks have listed the “Ideal” qualifications for that particular position. It woruld be rare that you find an individual that fits exactly. I am a Safety Specialist and I can work in many different kinds of settings, because safety is safety no matter what. There may be some things specific to a particular josite, but those things can be learned very quickly by an experienced safety professional.

    So I say to the HR folks, look at the complete package that a candidate bring to the table. One last comment; years of work history and on the job experience cannot be replaced by 4 years in a college classroom. So, please give the degree thing a break. Most new grads have never been on a construction site or a drilling site, so they don’t have a clue about what is going on.

    Thanks, Greg S.

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